As noted in a recent post on excess salt in sauces, we have been getting frustrated with failure to buy decent stock, so decided to go back to making our own. I saw something on ice filtration in ‘Further adventures in search of perfection’ by Heston Blumenthal. It looked improbable, but we thought we’d give it a go. It involves making a stock, freezing it, then putting the frozen block in the fridge on a muslin sheet over a tray. The ice and gelatin in the stock filters the stock, and you get absolutely clear stock in the tray. Here’s the set-up just before it went into the fridge.
The end result was initially disappointing. There was a tiny amount of stock (really a chicken consomme) in the tray – probably half a cup in total. The block on top looked very similar to when it started. But, we thought we’d try the liquid, and it tasted absolutely fabulous. It was like super-intense chicken soup, packed with flavour. Certainly worth repeating, even if starting with four litres of water and getting maybe 100ml at the end feels wasteful. Next time we’re going to reduce the stock less before we start, so the frozen block is less gelatinous – hopefully we’ll get a little more out! In any case, it was fabulous either as a stock or consomme.